This week, the tourism company, Leisure Canada, Inc., and the Professional Golf Association (PGA) announced an exclusive agreement to develop golf in Cuba (as minority partners of the Castro dictatorship).
As such, the agreement effectively makes the PGA a partner (and co-conspirator) in Castro's tourism apartheid and repression.
Obviously, golf resorts do not help the Cuban people one bit. To the contrary, their goal is to attract hard currency from high quality foreign tourists to the island's secluded resorts, which are majority-owned by the Castro regime and where interaction with the Cuban people is strictly regulated.
Therefore, it seeks to enrich the PGA's majority partner -- the Cuban military. It's widely known that no tourism-related transaction takes place in Cuba without Raul Castro's military (through its conglomerate GAESA) calling the shots and reaping the profits.
So the question remains -- is the PGA violating U.S. (sanctions) law?
At first read, the PGA is trying to use its British brand to skirt sanctions. However, the overwhelming majority of the PGA's business is US-based.
According to its own website (www.pga.com), the US-based PGA is the largest working sports organization in the world. And of the PGA's 45,000 members worldwide, 28,000 are US-based -- so they surely share trademarks, activities and resources.
In addition to sanctions, if the PGA is found to be conspiring with its partner (the Castro regime) in apartheid and other repressive activities, it can also become subject to U.S.-based civil suits under the Alien Tort Claims Act.
Here's the appalling press release:
Resort developer Leisure Canada Inc. announced it signed an exclusive agreement with the United Kingdom-based Professional Golfers Association Ltd. (PGA) for "future licensing" of the company's golf courses and associated real estate developments in Cuba.
Toronto-based Leisure Canada is developing three luxury resorts in Cuba; the Jibacoa resort is planned to include a golf course and condominiums.
Under the agreement, PGA granted Leisure Canada an exclusive long-term license in Cuba to jointly develop golf facilities. The PGA brand includes "PGA Village, Cuba", "PGA National, Cuba", "PGA National Golf Course, Cuba", "PGA National Golf Academy, Cuba", "PGA Golf Course", "PGA Resort Course", "PGA Golf Academy" and "PGA Academy Course".
Landing the prestigious PGA brand is a coup for Leisure Canada amid what could become a golf-related construction boom on the island. The Cuban government is expected to soon approve 16 golf course condominium projects by a half-dozen investor groups.
"With the PGA, we have found the ideal partner to develop the game of golf in Cuba alongside our development projects," said Leisure Canada Chairman Ned Goodman.
"Working together with the Cuban government and the people of Cuba, we hope to further develop the game of golf in the country for the benefit of tourists and Cubans alike", said Guy Moran, head of property and development for the PGA.
Founded in 1901, the PGA is the world's oldest professional golfers' association. The PGA, one of golf's leading bodies, manages almost 1,000 golf event days annually.
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